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Want to know where you are going to college by December?

So do a lot of students, which is why Early Decision (ED) programs are so popular.

Watch out though.

ED plans have their pitfalls.

What if you realize you’d actually prefer to attend another school? What if you change your mind?

Too bad.

What if the financial aid package isn’t so great?

Sorry. You’re stuck. You have very limited negotiating power when you can’t show a college any competing offers.

Early Decision is limiting, and while for some students that admissions advantage makes it a worthwhile choice, in general, I’d recommend Early Action (EA) plans instead.

EA plans will give you your decision just as early as ED plans but without the downsides.

You are not required to attend a school you are admitted to through an EA program, and you can apply to more schools in the regular round so that you can compare aid offers.

In many cases, you can even apply to multiple schools through EA so that you can have multiple offers by December.

Sure, the admissions advantage of EA may be smaller than for ED, but for many schools, early applicant pools still have slightly higher admissions rates than in the regular pool.

Below, you’ll find of list of colleges that offer EA programs (data thanks to College Lists). With the exception of the few schools on this list marked as “single choice,” apply to as many of these colleges as you want early and get your decision before regular applications at most colleges are even due!

ALABAMA

Auburn University

Birmingham-Southern College

ARIZONA

Arizona Christian University

ARKANSAS

Hendrix College

Lyon College

University of Arkansas

CALIFORNIA

Azusa Pacific University

Biola University

California Baptist University

California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech)

California Lutheran University

Chapman University

Concordia University Irvine

Loyola Marymount University

Menlo College

Mills College

Mount Saint Mary’s College

Notre Dame de Namur University

Point Loma Nazarene University

Santa Clara University

Soka University of America

Saint Mary’s College of California

Stanford University (single choice)

The Master’s College

University of Redlands

University of San Francisco

University of the Pacific

Westmont College

Whittier College

COLORADO

Colorado College

Colorado State University

Fort Lewis College

University of Colorado at Boulder

University of Denver

CONNECTICUT

Fairfield University

United States Coast Guard Academy

University of Hartford

University of New Haven

Yale University (single choice)

DELAWARE

Delaware College of Art and Design

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Catholic University of America

Georgetown University

Howard University

Trinity Washington University

FLORIDA

Eckerd College

Palm Beach Atlantic University

University of Miami

University of Tampa

GEORGIA

Agnes Scott College

Brewton-Parker College

Georgia College and State University

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Georgia State University

Mercer University

Morehouse College

Oglethorpe University

Spelman College

University of Georgia

IDAHO

College of Idaho

Northwest Nazarene University

ILLINOIS

DePaul University

Illinois College

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Wesleyan University

Knox College

Lake Forest College

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

University of Chicago

Wheaton College

INDIANA

Butler University

DePauw University

Earlham College

Grace College

Hanover College

Purdue University

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Taylor University

University of Evansville

University of Notre Dame

Wabash College

IOWA

Coe College

Cornell College

Wartburg College

KENTUCKY

Bellarmine College

Centre College

Georgetown College

Transylvania University

LOUISIANA

Centenary College of Louisiana

Dillard College

Tulane University

Xavier University of Louisiana

MAINE

Maine College of Art

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Thomas College

Unity College in Maine

University of Maine

University of Maine at Farmington

University of Maine at Machias

University of New England

MARYLAND

Goucher College

Hood College

Loyola University in Maryland

McDaniel College

Mount Saint Mary’s University

Salisbury University

Saint John’s College

University of Maryland Baltimore County

University of Maryland College Park

Washington College

MASSACHUSETTS

Assumption College

Babson College

Bay Path College

Becker College

Bentley University

Berklee College of Music

Boston College

Bridgewater State University

Clark University

Curry College

Dean College

Emerson College

Emmanuel College

Framingham State University

Gordon College

Hampshire College

Harvard University (single choice)

Lasell College

Lesley University

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Merrimack College

Montserrat College of Art

Nichols College

Northeastern University

Regis College

Salem State University

Simmons College

Stonehill College

Suffolk University

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

University of Massachusetts at Lowell

Wheaton College

Wheelock College

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

MICHIGAN

Albion College

Hillsdale College

Kalamazoo College

Michigan State University

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

MINNESOTA

College of Saint Benedict

Gustavus Adolphus College

Hamline University

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Saint John’s University

MISSISSIPPI

Millsaps College

MISSOURI

Stephens College

MONTANA

Carroll College

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Colby-Sawyer College

Rivier College

Saint Anselm College

Southern New Hampshire College

University of New Hampshire

NEW JERSEY

Bloomfield College

Caldwell University

Georgian Court University

Monmouth University

Montclair State University

Princeton University (single choice)

Ramapo College of New Jersey

Rider University

Rutgers University (all campuses)

Saint Peter’s University

Seton Hall University

William Paterson University of New Jersey

NEW MEXICO

Saint John’s College

NEW YORK

Adelphi University

Bard College

College of Mount Saint Vincent

College of Saint Rose

Concordia College

Dowling College

Fordham University

Hofstra University

Iona College

Ithaca College

LIM College

LeMoyne College

Manhattanville College

Marist College

Mercy College

Molloy College

Nazareth College

New York Institute of Technology

Pace University, New York City

Pace University, Briarcliff/Pleasantville

Parsons The New School for Design

Pratt Institute

Siena College

State University of New York (SUNY)

College at Cortland

SUNY College at New Paltz

SUNY College at Oneonta

SUNY College at Purchase

SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome

SUNY University at Albany

SUNY University at Binghamton

The King’s College

The Sage Colleges

Wells College

NORTH CAROLINA

Elon University

Greensboro College

Guilford College

High Point University

Lenoir-Rhyne College

North Carolina State University

Piedmont International University

Queens University of Charlotte

University of North Carolina at Asheville

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Western Carolina University

William Peace University

OHIO

Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland Institute of Art

College of Wooster

Columbus College of Art and Design

John Carroll University

Miami University of Ohio

Ohio Wesleyan University

University of Akron

University of Dayton

Wittenberg University

OKLAHOMA

University of Tulsa

OREGON

George Fox University

Lewis and Clark College

Linfield College

Oregon State University

University of Oregon

Willamette University

PENNSYLVANIA

Dickinson College

Drexel University

Duquesne University

LaSalle University

Lycoming College

Saint Joseph’s University

Temple University

University of Scranton

Ursinus College

Villanova University

Washington and Jefferson College

Westminster College

PUERTO RICO

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla

University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

RHODE ISLAND

Bryant University

Providence College

Roger Williams University

Salve Regina University

University of Rhode Island

SOUTH CAROLINA

College of Charleston

Erskine College

Furman University

Presbyterian College

University of South Carolina at Columbia

Wofford College

TENNESSEE

Fisk University

Rhodes College

Sewanee: University of the South

TEXAS

Abilene Christian University

Austin College

Baylor University

Southern Methodist University

Southwestern University

Tarleton State University

Texas Christian University

Trinity University

University of Dallas

University of Saint Thomas

UTAH

Neumont University

VERMONT

Bennington College

Green Mountain College

Lyndon State College

Marlboro College

Saint Michael’s College

Sterling College

University of Vermont

VIRGINIA

Christendom College

Christopher Newport University

Emory and Henry College

George Mason University

Hampden-Sydney College

Hampton University

Hollins University

James Madison University

Longwood University

Old Dominion University

Patrick Henry College

Radford University

Randolph College

Randolph-Macon College

University of Mary Washington

University of Virginia

University of Virginia College at Wise

WASHINGTON

Gonzaga University

Northwest University

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

Whitworth University

WEST VIRGINIA

Shepherd University

WISCONSIN

Beloit College

Lawrence University

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

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